Samoa to appeal skipper’s ban ahead of Rugby League World Cup semi-final with England

The big talking point going into the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals this weekend and the match review panel, the major talking point was going to be the two Samoa stars placed on report after their clash against Tonga yesterday as they won 20-18 to set up a semi-final clash with Shaun Wane’s England this weekend at the Emirates Stadium.

Skipper Junior Paulo was placed on report for striking whilst star fullback Joseph Suaali’i was also placed on report for raising his knee.

Suaali’i was the star player for Samoa on Sunday with his brilliant break leading the way to the vital try for Brian To’o which proved the difference in the win over Tonga and Matt Parish will have been pleased that his star fullback avoided a ban after being dealt no more than a caution.

He will have been less pleased with the verdict that skipper Junior Paulo deserved a one-match ban for striking and it seems that way too with Samoa challenging the verdict hoping to get Paulo on the field at the Emirates this weekend.

So far no appeal of a ban has been successful in the World Cup despite the fact the likes of Adam Doueihi went to too appeals.

The appeal will be heard tonight but don’t rule out a second appeal again if this doesn’t come off.

In a statement made by the tournament, they confirmed tonight’s appeal:

“Following on from the decisions made by the Match Review Panel on 7 November, Junior Paulo (Samoa) is challenging the one match penalty notice which he was issued for Grade A Other Striking Offences.

“The challenge will be heard this evening at an independent judiciary tribunal. The outcome will be published on the RLWC2021 website.”

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